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February 25, 2015 3

White Supremacist Gangs: A Growing Problem in Missouri

missouri-white-supremacist-gangs

Mis­souri white suprema­cist gangs

Mis­souri has had long expe­ri­ence with white suprema­cists rang­ing from neo-Nazis to the Ku Klux Klan, but in recent years a new threat has emerged in the Show Me state:   white suprema­cist prison gangs.   Some states have been plagued by such gangs for years, but until recently, Mis­souri had only a lim­ited expe­ri­ence with them.

Now, how­ever, there are a num­ber of white suprema­cist gangs active in Mis­souri, typ­i­cally emerg­ing in pris­ons and jails, then expand­ing onto the streets. These gangs com­bine the crim­i­nal know-how of orga­nized crime with the big­oted ide­ol­ogy of hate groups.

Law enforce­ment has been increas­ingly con­cerned about the spread of such gangs in Mis­souri. Unfor­tu­nately, recent events have jus­ti­fied that con­cern. On Jan­u­ary 26, 2015, a mem­ber of the South­west Honkies gang, Joshua Lee Hagood, shot a Spring­field police offi­cer in the head while police were inves­ti­gat­ing a sus­pi­cious van. The offi­cer sus­tained career-ending injuries. This was actu­ally the sec­ond offi­cer shoot­ing in Spring­field related to the gang. In 2013, Honkies mem­ber Mar­tin Potts wounded another offi­cer dur­ing a shootout before offi­cers fatally shot Potts.

Police have not been the only Mis­souri­ans at risk. In Feb­ru­ary, two South­west Honkies mem­bers, Aaron Williams and Austin Pierce, were charged with a hate crime after allegedly threat­en­ing to kill an African-American woman and her chil­dren while try­ing to break into her house. In Jan­u­ary, a mem­ber of the Joplin Honkies received a seven-year prison sen­tence for assault and aban­don­ing a corpse.

Gangs like the Joplin and South­west Honkies are grow­ing in Mis­souri. Accom­pa­ny­ing that growth is increased crime, typ­i­cally tra­di­tional crimes like home inva­sions or drug-related crime (gangs are often involved with the metham­phet­a­mine trade). Crim­i­nal gain tends to trump white supremacy, but gangs can engage in hate-related vio­lence, too. Gangs often embrace a cruder form of white supremacy than neo-Nazi or Klan groups, but have larger memberships.

There are five main white suprema­cist gangs oper­at­ing in Missouri:

  • Sacred Sep­a­ratist Group (SSG): The Anti-Defamation League first encoun­tered the SSG in 2005, but it has grown con­sid­er­ably in recent years. Like some of the other gangs, it orig­i­nated in the West­ern Mis­souri Cor­rec­tional Cen­ter. ADL has iden­ti­fied mem­bers of this fairly large gang from all over Mis­souri. SSG mem­bers have asso­ci­ated with mem­bers of all the gangs listed here.
  • Joplin Honkies: The Joplin Honkies orig­i­nated behind bars around the same time as SSG. Orig­i­nally, mem­bers called them­selves the Joplin Boys. The Honkies are con­cen­trated in south­west Mis­souri, espe­cially around Joplin and Spring­field.   The ADL has iden­ti­fied dozens of active mem­bers of the Joplin Honkies, but their true num­bers are higher. Off­shoot gangs include the South­west Honkies and the 417 Honkies.
  • Peck­er­wood Mid­west: Mem­bers of this gang have been iden­ti­fied in both east­ern and west­ern Mis­souri, as well as across the south­ern part of the state (Spring­field to Cape Girardeau). ADL has iden­ti­fied at least 34 mem­bers and asso­ciates of this gang, though again, actual num­bers are con­sid­er­ably higher.
  • Fam­ily Val­ues: Fam­ily Val­ues is a smaller gang and not all mem­bers are hard­core white suprema­cists (some even asso­ciate with non-whites). How­ever, a num­ber of iden­ti­fied mem­bers do use com­mon white suprema­cist sym­bols such as swastikas, SS bolts, 14 and 88. A num­ber of gang mem­bers live in or around St. Louis and Springfield.
  • Aryan Cir­cle (AC):The Aryan Cir­cle is not native to Mis­souri but to Texas, where it is one of the largest white suprema­cist prison gangs. It has expanded into a num­ber of other states, recently mov­ing into Mis­souri largely as a result of recruit­ment from Indi­ana and gang mem­bers from fed­eral prison who returned or moved to Mis­souri. ADL has iden­ti­fied at least 23 active mem­bers and asso­ciates of Aryan Cir­cle in Mis­souri, espe­cially in north­east Missouri.

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July 9, 2014 14

White Supremacist “Mantra” Literature Appears In Seattle Neighborhood

mantra-seattle-front

Post­card front

Res­i­dents of the Capi­tol Hill neigh­bor­hood of Seat­tle recently found them­selves the recip­i­ents of a white suprema­cist lit­er­a­ture dis­tri­b­u­tion. Some­one had gone up and down streets in the area on June 30, plac­ing racist post­cards on the wind­shields of cars parked along the street.

mantras-eattle-back

Post­card back

The post­cards were designed to exploit gay pride events held in Seat­tle the pre­vi­ous week­end, includ­ing the 40th annual Seat­tle Pride Parade and Seat­tle Pride­Fest 2014, the lat­ter held only a few blocks from where the post­cards were dis­trib­uted. The post­card fronts fea­tured a rain­bow image, the word “Seat­tle,” and the phrases “Rain­bow Pride” and “40 YEARS of fab­u­lous,” the lat­ter a ref­er­ence to the parade.

How­ever, the back of the post­cards was starkly dif­fer­ent, dis­play­ing in large let­ters the white suprema­cist slo­gan “’Diver­sity’ is a code word for white geno­cide.” The post­card text claimed anti-racists are “anti-white” and that they sup­port non-whites “pour[ing] into EVERY White coun­try” to inter­marry with whites, thus extin­guish­ing the white race. The pride-related front was sim­ply cam­ou­flage for the racist mes­sage on the back.

This mes­sage was not ran­dom but rather the stan­dard lan­guage used by white suprema­cist sup­port­ers of the “Mantra.” The “Mantra” is a white suprema­cist pro­pa­ganda cam­paign based on the idea of end­lessly repeat­ing cer­tain lan­guage and select slo­gans in the hopes that whites will even­tu­ally be recep­tive to them. The two most com­mon slo­gans asso­ci­ated with the “Mantra” are “Anti-racist is a code for anti-white” and “Diver­sity is a code word for white geno­cide,” both of which appear on the Seat­tle postcards.

In recent years, white suprema­cist use of “Mantra”-style pro­pa­ganda has steadily increased, as racist activists dis­play it on bill­boards, on free­way over­passes, as graf­fiti, and across the Inter­net. Just a few days after the Seat­tle inci­dent, sev­eral white suprema­cists in Port­land, Ore­gon, pick­eted the offices of an orga­ni­za­tion devoted to help­ing immi­grants and refugees, dis­play­ing signs and ban­ners that repeated the “Mantra” slogans.

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March 27, 2014 3

New Black Panther Summit Attracts Support from Diplomats, Academics

2014 NBPP SummitDespite the New Black Pan­ther Party’s (NBPP) overt plat­form of anti-Semitism and racism, the group’s upcom­ing “Dig­nity Sum­mit” has attracted sup­port from diplo­mats, aca­d­e­mics and busi­ness lead­ers, who report­edly will be speak­ing at the events.

The NBPP claims that among the for­eign rep­re­sen­ta­tives speak­ing at the March 28–30, 2014 Sum­mit in Atlanta are Gandy Thomas, the Con­sul Gen­eral of Haiti in Atlanta, Randy E. Rolle, the Con­sul Gen­eral of the Bahamas in Atlanta, and Daniel Agyekum, the for­mer Ambas­sador of the Repub­lic of Ghana (though the NBPP’s pro­mo­tional mate­ri­als do not indi­cate he is no longer Ambassador).

Accord­ing to the pro­gram of events, there will also be pre­sen­ta­tions by Pro­fes­sor Leonard Jef­fries of the City Col­lege of New York, Pro­fes­sor Akinyele Umoja of Geor­gia State Uni­ver­sity, Pro­fes­sor Jacob Sav­age of Alabama A&M Uni­ver­sity, real estate and media mogul Michael V. Roberts, and editor-in-chief of Hip Hop Enquirer Mag­a­zine Den­nis Byron.

By tak­ing on racially-charged issues under the guise of cham­pi­oning civil rights, the NBPP, which is led by Hashim Nzinga, has received national atten­tion for its efforts, gar­nered some sup­port from promi­nent mem­bers of the African-American com­mu­nity, and attracted fol­low­ers. The group’s events often fea­ture inflam­ma­tory big­otry cou­pled with calls for vio­lence, tar­nish­ing its efforts to pro­mote black pride and consciousness.

In recent install­ments of the NBPP’s online radio broad­cast pro­mot­ing the Sum­mit, NBPP National Chief of Staff Chawn Kweli referred to Jews as the “Syn­a­gogue of Satan,” employ­ing a phrase com­monly used by the Nation of Islam (NOI) and the title of a viciously anti-Semitic book pub­lished by the NOI. Kweli praised NOI leader Louis Far­rakhan for his “war on the Syn­a­gogue of Satan” and encour­aged “any­body right­eous” to engage in this war.

In last week’s radio broad­cast, Kweli also alluded to the NOI’s Secret Rela­tion­ship Between Blacks and Jews, stat­ing “the so-called Jews…don’t want their hands to be exposed in terms of their role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade,” and con­tin­ued, “They don’t want you to talk about your enslavement…and how the blood-sucking cap­i­tal­ist jew­el­ers and oth­ers have ben­e­fited from our mishaps.”

Kweli then inter­viewed Asha­hed Muham­mad, Assis­tant Edi­tor of the NOI’s Final Call news­pa­per and author of The Syn­a­gogue of Satan, which claims that the world is being manip­u­lated and cor­rupted by Satanic pow­ers led by Jew­ish elites. The book, which has been heav­ily pro­moted by the NOI since 2005, fea­tures a fore­word by Malik Zulu Shabazz, then National Chair­man of the NBPP.

After pro­fusely prais­ing Muham­mad and his book, Kweli asked Muham­mad what moti­vated him to write the book to which Muham­mad responded with the fol­low­ing rea­sons: “the bat­tle with the so-called Jews on cam­pus,” Jew­ish orga­ni­za­tions’ “awe­some con­trol of pub­lic knowl­edge,” and the “con­trolled media” that allegedly por­trays the African-American com­mu­nity in a neg­a­tive light.

Con­tin­u­ing to invoke anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries about sup­posed Jew­ish con­trol, Muham­mad described African Amer­i­cans as being “hood­winked and bam­boo­zled by the Zion­ists” who “have to be exposed and uncov­ered because as long as they are allowed to con­tinue to lie and influ­ence so many peo­ple with their lies, they stop us from unifying.”

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